The Craziest Diets Ever

by in Uncategorized, July 31st, 2012
grapefruit

Remember the grapefruit diet?

I’ve read over 200 diet books and some of the advice I’ve come across is just plain wacky or even worse, dangerous to your health. Here are some of the nuttiest plans out there and suggestions on how to choose the ri...

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Reinvented: Guacamole 5 Ways

by in Recipes, July 31st, 2012

guacamole 5 ways
Here in Food Network Kitchens, we love simple, classic recipes. We are also paid to think about food all day. So we’ve taken classic foods and drinks and reimagined them into three, four or five different ways. No standard recipes here, just the occasional technique and pictures. Think of it as a picture recipe.

Guacamole is definitely a top 10 crowd-pleaser, so we decided to mix it up and add four more ways to keep the party going.

First, start with the classic version

August Food Festivals

by in Events, July 30th, 2012

lemons
August is about as hot as it gets each year, in terms of the temperature and the good-eats celebrations. It’s especially true for the hauls of seafood, corn and blueberry festivals this month. Below are our pick of the pecks.

Maine Lobster Festival, Rockland, Maine, Aug. 1–5: Vacationland is booming, fueled by bountiful catches of crustaceans that end up predominantly in lobster rolls. This is not a bad thing — it should be celebrated. And that’s what the small town of Rockland has done since 1947. The modern festival includes more than 20,000 pounds of lobster, a fantastical parade replete with giant lobster, the crowning of the Sea Goddess and loads of competitions. Beyond the professional and amateur cooking contests, there are blindfold rowboat and lobster crate races. For those who can’t stomach the crack of claw and tail, there are all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts.

Blueberry Arts Festival, Ketchikan, Ark., Aug. 3–5: More than fish is grown in the land of tundra and groceries via seaplane. The tart summertime burst of berries is also found in the 49th state. For that, Alaskans are grateful and because of that, they party. This annual festival is more than a platform for bragging about your best blueberry dish. The three-day happening involves a slug weigh-in (yes, that kind of mollusk) a race and a pie-eating contest. Attendees can also take part in local arts and crafts, a mini-beer festival and a doll parade.

Click here for more August food festivals

Appetizers for Summer Entertaining — Meatless Monday

by in Recipes, July 30th, 2012


Though back-to-school commercials are already flashing on our television screens and Halloween candy has somehow landed on store shelves, there’s still plenty of summer left to be enjoyed and more than enough time to plan a summer party. Whether you’re hosting a casual cookout for friends and family or organizing a neighborhood-wide barbecue, you’ll want to serve a selection of easy-to-eat appetizers and pre-dinner snacks at your get-together. Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite party-perfect appetizers below, and serve them up at your next backyard bash. 

Instead of reaching for tired carrots and ranch dressing, prepare a platter of Food Network Magazine‘s Crudite With Infused Olive Oil and Balsamic (pictured above). A fancy name for raw vegetables that have been cut for simple munching, crudités make the ultimate party appetizer since they involve zero cooking. They can be served with straight-from-the-bottle olive oil and vinegar, though this recipe takes those classic pairings one step further by infusing the oil and balsamic. Over low heat, fragrant fresh herbs and garlic are steeped in olive oil, while brown sugar, red pepper flakes and light citrus zest are warmed in balsamic. Once cool, serve both the olive oil and vinegar in shallow bowls for easy, delicious dunking.

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Octopus — Iron Chef America Ingredients 101

by in Shows, July 30th, 2012

battle octopus
One of the greatest food memories of my travels around the globe has to be an early-morning visit to the legendary Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. While dodging the porters and fishermen, I saw hundreds of varieties of fish and seafood being auctioned off for sale all over Japan.

Amongst all the amazing noises, sights and smells of the market, my eyes were drawn to a number of huge glass tanks containing live octopi, many of whom were attempting to escape by climbing over the sides using the suckers on their tentacles. Unfortunately for them they were soon recaptured and dispatched off to feed hungry locals and tourists including myself.

Watching the Iron Chef and his challenger battle with this eight-legged beast this week really reminded me of my experiences in Japan and I hope it inspires you to try preparing octopus in your own kitchen.

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Holiday Cookies — Most Popular Pin of the Week

by in Community, July 29th, 2012

holiday cookies
And to think that we were cursing away the snow and the sleet just months ago — now, it’s hot. It’s so hot that untimely images of snow boots, defrost buttons and holiday cookies are wafting into our minds — on Pinterest, at least. In fact, this week’s most popular pins were all about holiday cookies, with Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars, Oatmeal Cream Cheese Butter Scotch Bars and Lemon Ricotta Cookies With Lemon Glaze leading the pack. Hey, they may be holiday cookies, but who’s stopping you from whipping up a batch right now?

Save for the wishes for winter weather, why all of the holiday cookie buzz? This year, Food Network is leaving it to the pinners to choose one of the featured cookies for the 12 Days of Cookies celebration. Whether you love a good snickerdoodle or crave ginger snaps, it just takes a re-pin to place your vote.

For more recipes like this — and to vote for your favorite — visit Food Network’s Let’s Vote: Holiday Cookies board on Pinterest.

Kebabs Your Way — Weekend Cookout

by in Recipes, July 28th, 2012


This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and this weekend’s spread features easy DIY kebabs.

Quick-cooking and a downright cinch to prepare, kebabs are one of the most versatile meals you can make on the grill. Most recipes consist of little more than meat or seafood, a variety of vegetables and a multipurpose marinade to flavor them. Beyond that, you can get as fancy as you like, customizing your kebabs to reflect your family’s tastes and whatever ingredients you have on hand.

If you’re cooking for kids, you may want to stick with simple Beef Kebabs With Couscous, coated in a mild Dijon mustard-rosemary mixture. Entertaining seafood lovers? Cook up Mackerel a la Plancha, layered with zesty lemon slices. Meat meat eaters will enjoy hearty Bacon-Beef skewers, while heat seekers will want to taste these Chili Molasses Chicken Skewers, marinated in a combination of Worcestershire sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo.

Get the menu

Cooking With Wood Planks

by in Uncategorized, July 28th, 2012

cedar planked salmon
Cedar and other wood-plank cooking is probably one of the oldest “new” food trends around. It’s a technique that was used by the Northwest Native Americans to roast fish, meats and fowl. Nowadays, adventurous chefs can choose between baking an...

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3 Days to Open: Licari’s

by in Shows, July 27th, 2012

licari's 3 days to open with bobby flay
When Bobby Flay arrived at Gionni’s dream restaurant, Licari’s in Grand Rapids, Mich.,  just three days before the opening, he was almost positive they weren’t going to make it. Along with his wife, Lisa, co-owner of the restaurant, they invested everything — their house, sanity and marriage — but they were in the red, owing money to contractors and vendors, all while emptying their retirement fund and borrowing money from their parents.

Before Bobby could consider the task complete, he needed to help the husband and wife team fix these four crucial issues: Lisa’s unestablished role, poor food quality, a disorganized kitchen and unleashing the secret recipes from Gionni’s mom.

On opening day, Gionni said “he closed a chapter, but opened a new one.” Are things still running smoothly? How are Gionni and Lisa handling their new venture together as a couple? We checked in with Licari’s six weeks later to see how things are going after their visit from Bobby. Click play on the video below for a 3 Days to Open update.

Click here to watch the video